My What Big Ears You Have

Howdy Everyone!  Guessing you were thinking I had forgotten about getting my 6th post in for the month and was sharpening your claws to pounce all over me for finally blowing the streak.  No worries, although blasting out all the posts early in the month does make me get a little lazy for the rest of the days – well on the post front that is, the rest of the time  is pretty busy in the digital darkroom trying to get the next set of images done.  You may be happy to know that the shots from the second day at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve are now completed.  Unless you are totally fed up with that topic from all the posts over the last couple of months, in which case you will probably NOT be happy since you can guess what is on the schedule for October.

This weekend has been quite the whirlwind for us.  As of last count I think I put myself in peril at least twice over two consecutive days and managed to make a quick run up to Chicago to see a friend married off.  Originally we planned to try and get by to see my brother who lives in “The City” (he loves it when I use that reference – for the record anyone East of 39 and North of 80 lives in “The City” for us downstate hicks.  Timing ended up not working out but we need to make it up there one of these days to see his .. wait for it .. CATS (my dogs just shuddered).  The wedding ended up taking place at the South Shore Cultural Center and I’ll probably end up making a post devoted to just that.  For those not familiar with this place it is where the Obama’s got married – a feature this is COMPLETELY LOST on me.  It was definitely quite the gala which appears to be the norm these days in “The City”.  Details likely to be forthcoming, but let me give you one key piece of advice that you best heed unless you like to live on the edge.  Peril event number one was trusting the GPS to get us from Countryside to the Center.  It declared a quick 30 minute trip that basically took us directly east to the location.  Not being familiar with the area we left an hour early instead.  1 hour and 20 minutes later we were sneaking our way into the ceremony (luckily it started 15 minutes late so we just missed the opening parade.  Let me tell you, that 1 hour and 20 minutes was one of the scariest trips I’ve taken in a loooong time.  Linda about heaved that GPS out the door … to afraid to actually roll the window down ended up saving it.  Every stop light/sign was a test of nerves while everyone standing around on the street (and IN the street) was looking at us all dressed up in the Beemer.  I don’t profile.. I use deduction.  Where the HELL is that conceal and carry bill going to be actionable!!  We went a different way back that took us all of 20 minutes and didn’t cause any additional gray hairs.  Just to round out the other peril, I had to get back early today to get my 12.5 mile run in – another half is coming up and I need to solve whatever happened last time before toeing that line again.  Had to spend some quality time getting my head cleared after that run and the legs are STILL screaming at me.

“What the hell is the purpose of this post Brian!”  Oh, sorry about that, mind started drifting again (did I mention I had to run 12.5 miles today..).  This topic was actually picked last night during the wedding ceremony.  There are some statements I am pretty sensitive to and I always pay special attention to the vows (my wife stating “To Honor and Obey” is a highlight of my wedding and on no less than 10,00o copies spread out in various locations for security just in case something (err more like someone)  should ever happen to it (hehehe).  My friend failed to get this sneaked in, but the sermon was intriguing.  I’ve never seen the person presiding over a wedding concentrate so much on the bad side of marriage – he must have spent 20 minutes talking about “When she annoys him” and “When he makes her mad” (and I swear he said pisses off).  Odd, but then he referenced “When they have children”.  Whoa – that just seemed presumptuous to me .. if nothing else definitely puts pressure on right from the start (I may just be overly sensitive to that).  For some strange reason I immediately decided on my next post.

Just seemed fitting at the time.  This was taken at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and, as indicated above, on the second day of shooting.  Actually, to be more accurate, it was taken as we were heading back to the visitor center from another long day of shooting.  I like rabbits and do my best to let them live a happy a life on my property.  Sure it is a pain in the butt thanks to the dogs thinking they are a lot funner chasing than playing with their boring toys.  Our youngest dog also thinks their droppings are a delicacy – he needs to be reminded every time he goes out that the nose stays out of the grass.  Unfortunately, those pesky Coyotes think the bunnies are the delicacy and keep them pretty much on the run.  The enemy of my friend is my enemy too as a slight derivation of the adage.

Hit the jump to see a couple more pictures of this specimen

We do not actually have these particular bunnies in our neck of the woods.  This one I believe is a Whitetail Jackrabbit.  That based on the highly scientific analysis based on the fact it a) has a white tail and b) possesses a massive set of ears.  This of course just adds to their overall cuteness!

How could anyone hate on this cute little creature?  Hanging out in the desert minding its own business and generally just looking cute.  Since I do not know much about this bunny, I hopped over (see what I did there, I made a funny… about the bunny which happens to be sitting in the sunny filling his tummy – I crack myself up) to our friends over at Wikipedia to see what they had to say.  First thing I noticed is there is a species difference between the cottontail rabbits we have here and the  Jackrabbits – the later appear to be a Hare derivative – I had no idea there was a difference between a Hare and a Rabbit (high school fails me again).  Wow,  I am basically confused – Hares are not Rabbits and Hares and Jackrabbits are both Leporids but is unclear whether a Hare is a Jackrabbit or if they are one in the same.  Hmmm I would probably investigate a quandary like that a little more if it was a bird, but I’ll let that go for the moment.  What I do know is that rabbits have been domesticated and hares have not.  Adding to my growing wealth of knowledge, this specific specimen is likely a Leveret since it appears to be under a year old (again, that refers to a Hare, but for now let’s assume they are close enough to be the same).

Get this, Hares apparently birth their young above ground and to help aid their survival are born with eyes open and furred so they can defend themselves fairly quickly.  I know the cottontails do not do that and instead place their young in a hole and cover it up for their protection.  Want to know how I know the latter … thanks to a horrifying episode one day in the yard while mowing I managed to accidentally inflict great harm to a bunch of newborns that were apparently working themselves out of the hole.  I still have nightmares about that day that ended up with some mercy killings with a shovel.  If god is a rabbit I’ll have some explaining to do at the gates.  This is one of the reasons I’ve always done my best to give them a fighting chance – giving the Karma a little polishing.

This particular specimen was just hanging out near a tree on the side of the walkway.  Quite content to dig around in the sand and rocks the entire time we spent capturing the moment – which was probably close to 15 minutes by the time we were done chimping at the camera’s LCD.  That young and not scared in the least with The Beast pointed directly at it!  He (hell, maybe She) was smart enough to know if we were there.. the Coyote with that Shoveler would be as far away from there as possible (link here).  Best of luck little dude (or dudette).  See ya the next time we head out there.

4 thoughts on “My What Big Ears You Have”

  1. First and foremost, I do not live in “The City”, nor do I associate with it in any way, nor visit it unless I absolutely have to and all I want to do when I’m there is get OUT of that concrete jungle. I think I get a little claustrophobic there, because I just get more and more jittery. Which is too bad because otherwise I’d be downtown taking pictures of snowy owls on icy Lake Michigan in sleety gales in the dead of winter for you. Sad, really.

    But it seems like you got to see a bit of it.

    That _is_ a cute bunny/hare/whatever. AND, what a shoutout to our CATS! Woo-hoo, they’re excited about it–I know this because they’re running all around the house like crazy right now. Cats are so quiet, so very quiet, until they start running, and then they sound like a herd of buffalo–strangest thing. Anyway, they would be pleased if you and Linda were to visit.

    Ron

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  2. Mr. City,

    I did indeed get to see a little bit of your ummm interesting city and Linda and I both agree you can keep it. I also liked how everyone is running about 20 mph over the speed limit, but sure enough the cop pulls someone over with Wisconsin plates and Badger Game-Day Flags on their window. Talk about selectively pulling people over!. I mentioned your cats to our dogs and next thing I notice their sitting back on our couch filing their claws all nice and sharp like… they were muddling something like “here purdy purdy kitty .. check out my little friend”

    Long time no hear – good to see you’re back (must have been tooling around the city all this time hehehe

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  3. Cats have a unique advantage over dogs–they have the ability to climb trees. It would be nice for me if they had two, the second being the ability to climb down.

    That’s not to mention their eerie silence, their uber-cool retractable claws, their piercing stare, their night vision, and their overall coefficient of cuteness that disarms everyone. Until they need you no longer. Cats only eat meat, you know. And they play with animals before they kill them, so your dogs should endeavor to be polite.

    Ron
    (What city am I Mr. City of?? Romeoville? Plano? Sycamore? Brimfield?)

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  4. I’m sorry, I meant to address you as Mr “The City” as a fellow student introduced himself from on my first day at the UofI – half the class – the part not North of 80 and East of 39 laughed at him openly – he had absolutely no clue why we were doing that. sad, so very sad.

    Now about this Cat thingy – Do you realize that a dog will guard your body if something happens to you at your home… contrary to that stoic display of a true Best Friend.. the Cat will bat your head around for awhile to insure you are unable to hurt and then proceed to nibble away on you. I’ll let you ponder a bit on that

    I do think their retractable claws are cool so I’ll give them that. The good news is Kerby aint afraid of no kitty – he just looked up from sharpening his claws and gave me a cute grin.

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